Press and testimonials from ‘A tribute to Bob Mellors – co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front’

Thank you to everyone who made this week’s commemoration so beautiful and powerful. The full video with speeches, readings and the photos from the streets in Warsaw will be coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a few testimonials and photos and a leading article in the Polish press.

25 years ago, Bob Mellors, a symbol of the British LGBT movement, was murdered in Warsaw’ OKO Press

25 years ago, Bob Mellors, a symbol of the British LGBT movement, was murdered in Warsaw On the 24th of March 2021, on the 25th anniversary of Mellors’ death, the British Gay Liberation Front alongside ‘Make Poland Queer Again’ organised an event in London and Warsaw to commemorate the activist.

His letters from Warsaw to a friend were read, among others, they also talked about the situation in Poland and the need for solidarity with LGBT people. “I think the story of Mellors has the potential of a transnational project about a shared queer past and future, linking Warsaw with London.” Szymon Adamczak, Make Poland Queer Again

According to Adamczak, honoring the memory of Bob Mellers in both London and Warsaw has a symbolic dimension.

“In Great Britain, many people want to show solidarity with Poland. The pandemic is spoiling the ranks, but the involvement is growing. Activists raise money for Polish queer communities and organizations, and come out with cooperation initiatives. Bob is a symbolic figure here, a natural element and an announcement of this cooperation.”

As few as there are, it is in his biography that the realities of Central, Eastern and Western Europe intersect in a fascinating way.

Testimonials

‘Thanks so much everyone for their contribution. I knew Bob in the GLF in the 70’s. He was a quitely, determined activist with a huge, shy smile. He deserved so much more than his horrific death.’ Simenon Honoré

‘All Out is sending our love and solidarity to you all. We stand with you as you fight queerphobia and fascism in Poland.’ Matt Beard, Executive Director – All Out

‘Hugs from Poland’ Monika Tichy, Polish Pride activist and artist

‘Peace. A great yet modest man to whom British LGBTs owe a monumental debt of respect and love. Tragically, and unsurprisingly, his murder in Poland has not been solved or the culprit(s) apprehended.” Ted Brown, GLF activist, ‘This is radical love’ – the history of black queer Britain in pictures

***

Time – Wednesday 24th March 2021 4-5pm

Livestreamed from The Dome Club https://www.domeclublondon.co.uk  – 2A Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park, London NW5 1HL – independent live music and club nights venue

Press contact – gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com

Live Streaming – we will be streaming from the GLF facebook page herehttps://www.facebook.com/gayliberationfrontuk

Ticketssign up here, it is free!

Social Media – Facebook event link here

‘Gay liberation does not just mean reforms. It means a revolutionary change in our whole society.’ Gay Liberation Front Manifesto, 1971.

The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in alliance with ‘Make Poland Queer Again’ will be hosting a commemoration in London and in Warsaw of the death 25 years ago on 24 March 1996 of Bob Mellors (b.1950), one of the founders of the Gay Liberation Front London in 1970.This event will include an unveiling of a plaque on the central Warsaw building where Bob lived and died alongside an online vigil.

BOB MELLORS
born 1950 in England – died 24 March 1996 in Warsaw
Gay rights activist
lived here

Make Poland Queer Again is a growing grassroots international movement organising for critical actions including the ‘Summer of Solidarity 2021’ whereby buses will leave from Britain to Poland to connect and empower the global LGBT+ solidarity movement against the ‘LGBT Free Zones’. plus’ and in solidarity with all Polish women in the recent attacks on their rights. LGBTQ+ and every woman is oppressed in common by sexist society.

Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was founded in October 1970 by students Aubrey Walter and Bob Mellors after encountering the American Gay Liberation Front at the Black Panther Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in post-Stonewall Philadelphia (1970).Though it’s time as a political collective was short, the impact of GLF, through newspapers, acts of solidarity with other oppressed groups, pamphlets, phone lines, discos, demonstrations, communes, street theatre and marches, lasted long after it stopped organising in late 1973. Generations of people in the UK would come to understand their oppression by society through the work of GLF.

Bob was murdered. Polish police stated that the death was in the course of a burglary and they informed Interpol, but no arrest was ever made. The purpose is to introduce Bob’s career, his love of Poland, and his outstanding LGBT record, including non-binary pioneering and co-founding of GLF London, to young LGBT people in Poland.

Event running order –

  1. Welcome from the LGBTQIA+ Rep at The Dome Club
  2. Welcome and Intro from ‘Make Poland Queer Again’
  3. Show video recording of plaque unveiling in Warsaw
  4. Welcome from the Gay Liberation Front – Andrew and Nettie.
  5. Stuart’s interview with one of Bob’s friends
  6. Reading a letter from Bob Mellors mum
  7. Reading of Bob’s letters to Andrew from Warsaw when he was happy.
  8. The struggle for international freedom – and the focus of this Summer of Solidarity with Polish queer and feminist struggles! What’s happening / how to get involved.

Thank you to All Out for all your love and solidarity. Please support All Out with all your might. All Out is a global movement for love and equality. We’re mobilising thousands of people to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love. https://allout.org/en

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